Linda F Sanborn, Democrat
Office Sought: Representative - District 26
Occupation: Retired family physician
Michigan State University, 1970 - 1974, B.S. in Microbiology.
University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine, 1974 - 1978, Medical Degree.
Residency in Family Practice, E.W. Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, Michigan, 1978- 1981.
I have been married 40 years to Jeff Sanborn.
We have three sons, ages 29, 33, and 36.
Why are you running for office? I have very much enjoyed serving in the House for the past three terms, have gained important insight and knowledge about the work that needs to be done, and believe that I have made a positive impact with my service to date. My background as a physician provides a scientific grounding to address many issues before the legislature – issues like substance abuse, mental health, Lyme Disease, vaccinations, access to health care, and drugs for the elderly, to name a few. Serving on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee is particularly time intensive, but as a young retiree I have the time and energy to expend at this point in my life, and enjoy the challenge. Having worked on several unanimous bipartisan budgets, I have proven that I can work collaboratively and compromise when needed, which is essential to this work. I want to return to the legislature to continue work in critical areas. I want to see greater investment in quality early childcare and education – investment that will help to move people out of poverty and save the state the high costs of remedial education, corrections, substance abuse, and lost productivity. I want to be part of a team working to reduce the costs of higher education, so that more Mainers can work in quality higher paying jobs and we can keep more of our children in state. I will help implement legislation to help our seniors stay and age in their homes – this is what they want and it saves taxpayers money.
I have served in the 124th, 125th, and 126th Legislatures as a State Representative of House District 130 (Part of Buxton/Part of Gorham). This includes the years 2008 - 2014. In the legislature I have served two terms on the Health and Human Services Committee and one on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
I was the proud sponsor of LD 1066, a bill to accept the federal funds to provide health care coverage to 70,000 low-income working Mainers. This bill to expand MaineCare and four other versions were passed by the legislature only to be vetoed by the current governor. Clearly, we need a change of governors to accomplish expansion which is beneficial to Maine in many ways. First and foremost, it is the right moral choice. Studies have shown having Medicaid coverage saves lives. By not expanding Medicaid we have left the poorest, most vulnerable people with no access to preventive care or to care for chronic illnesses, thus driving up the costs of care. We have greatly increased the need for our hospitals to provide charity and free care, thereby increasing the cost shifting to those of us who have private insurance. By accepting the federal dollars we could create more than 3000 new jobs and bring $350 million dollars into the state economy each year. Expansion would provide the state new money to cover hospital bills for jail and prison inmates, medication for low-income elderly folks, and mental health and substance abuse treatment for the poor. The return on investment would be significant and a boost to our economy creating jobs and lowering health insurance costs for everyone. I will continue to work for its passage.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?No
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?I would work to transition folks out of poverty and into long-term jobs that pay a living wage. Providing temporary help to struggling families is the right thing to do. But as many have said, the best pathway out of poverty is a well-paying job. Investing in our infrastructure, our local foods market and tourism; expanding broadband; and developing renewable resources, are among the ways to grow our economy and create jobs. Education is a high-priority at every level - from early childhood through affordable higher education and workforce training programs. I would support proven programs such as Parents as Scholars which can lift people out of poverty permanently.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?Too many families are struggling to make ends meet and pay for the essentials - food, heat, medication or a place to live. I did vote to raise the minimum raise this past session because we need an economy that supports everyone, not just the most wealthy. If you are working full time you should not be needing welfare to pay for the basics of life. More money in the pockets of working families translates into more dollars spent in local businesses, and that benefits everyone. Raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation is an effective anti-poverty program.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?No
Please explain your position on legalization?My position is no, not at this time. As a physician, I am very concerned about legalization from a public health point of view. Exposure to marijuana can bring out psychosis, especially in adolescence and young adults who are already at risk. The health risks of smoking marijuana are just as great as those of smoking tobacco, and as a state, the cost of tobacco use to our healthcare system is already $217 million each year.. We don't need more toxic substances than can be addictive to work against. At the very least, we should wait to see how the states that have legalized marijuana, Colorado and Washington, fair both economically and in regards to their health.